19 August 2013

Saarinen Style Tulip Table

If you follow me on Instgram or Facebook, you may have seen this pic of the Sarrinen-style tulip table and the Eames-style shell chair I unearthed a couple of weeks ago.

Did I say how excited I was to find not one but two mid-century classics in one week? It's such a rarity here in the Southeast.

They're vintage mid-century pieces. And as such, were in need of some serious lovin'.

The chair got a major cleaning.

Hello sexy little swivel chair!

 But the table? Well, thanks to a poorly done paint job, it was a whole other story.

Although neither were true originals, both were very well constructed replicas. That said, the table was definitely worthy of a little time, effort,+ tlc.

Underneath it's sad facade I could see the original white paint of the metal base and a peek of the walnut veneer top. It had me a bit excited! Could there be something like this beauty hiding below?

1st dibs
You never know why someone chooses to paint over a piece, but my experience has been that it is usually for a reason...


This part is so gratifying.

And underneath it all I was greeted with a chipped up base and a walnut laminate top that was faded and worn.

Okay, not the beauty above, but definitely still a keeper.

Since unveiling the original finish confirmed that the table wasn't a true original, I came up with a plan that added a little hint of glam - something an original never would have had but is totally appropriate for the piece.

A souvenire alligator head. Totally appropriate.

Well, that and a little strip of gold glitz on the rim. See, just a hint.

After stripping and sanding, I repainted the base in a soft white, applied a band of gilt to the rim, then conditioned the top to deepen the color and bring back some of the original sheen.

And here you are - another piece of mid-century awesomeness saved!

On a side note, someone stole the little alligator from the booth. Rotten thieves, may they burn...



  1. In my panic, I think I just lost the comment that I was writing...
    NO! please don't paint it White again.
    I LOVE love love it.
    and I really hesitate to say this but I love the alligator head too.
    Yep. I'm the one that hates antlers and cowhides in decor but this reminds me of being a little girl on vacation in Miami when my parents bought me a real stuffed baby alligator. (really awful to think about) but I loved that thing and SLEPT with it...
    so yeah, perfect. in a freaky sort of way.

    1. i shudder to think of it now; but growing up in florida, these souvenirs were so commonplace. i think that's why i gravitated to the poor little thing when i spotted him on the shelf of a antiques store. he needed to be appreciated + loved!

  2. The table turned out great! Wonderful work!

  3. I like the contrast with the top of the table and the base. It looks great!!! What a cool find!

    1. thanks, melissa! they are rare indeed in my neck of the woods!


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